Tag Archives: party camp

Embrace Sports 11/10/14 End of ‘party camp’; bring on triathlon week.

11 Oct

Saturday 11th October

It was sad to know that ‘party camp’ was coming to an end. I got up quite early to say goodbye to people and then had some time to do what I wanted, which was mainly lounging around.

It felt odd seeing the new group of people arrive. Everyone seemed to be much more serious than the runners and there were some very serious-looking bikes being unpacked.


In the afternoon, we went out for a 25km time trial. I was one of teh slower cyclists, but I didn’t do too badly, which was good. After we got back, we went out for a nice and easy brick run.


Embrace Sports 05/10/14 Woodland trail run

5 Oct

Sunday 5th October

I was looking forward to this run – I’d done it twice previously and was determined to beat my pace from my previous attempts. The first time I did the woodland run, I fell quite badly on my first lap and the second time I did it, I thought I’d paced it well and then found out afterwards that I’d run slower than my previous attempt.



© Embrace Sports, 2014. Group shot with wave!

I decided that I would go out at a reasonably fast pace, but that I would try to maintain the same pace throughout. I also decided that I would only aim for 10 miles (rather than 15 like in previous years) as I was aware that it was the first full day of two weeks of full-on training.

It was a relatively warm day, but I felt comfortable and it seemed like my asthma was finally under control. There was a small group of runners just behind me and it was tempting to slow down and join in with their conversation, but I knew that that would not help my run time, so I stayed just ahead, until the final mile or so. I kept pushing right to the finish and was delighted to see that I had completed the lap at a pace of 5:44/km, which was exactly 1 min/km faster than I managed in November 2013.

I stopped for a quick drink and stretch, before deciding to take the second lap at a gentler pace. I waited until sally finished and then persuaded her that we should go for another loop, but this tim at a sociable pace. It definitely wasn’t as fast as the first lap, but it was just as enjoyable.


There was a really positive mood by the end of the run. Some of teh people who were training for a marathon ran 20 miles…


© Embrace Sports, 2014. Gaby, Sally and Rachel.

…whereas others fell over and were still smiling.


© Embrace Sports, 2014. George was one of the trail’s casualties.

In the late afternoon, we went for a beach recovery run. Last year, I hated the beach runs, but this year I was feeling so much more positive.


© Embrace Sports, 2014. Group photo…


© Embrace Sports, 2014. …and a wave.


Neil explained that we were going to run out for 12.5 minutes before turning and running back 12.5 minutes.

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I think this photo shows just how much fun I was having. I really didn’t feel like I was having breathing problems and I wasn’t worried about my pace, I just wanted to enjoy it (although I was also taking care not to stand on any sea holly!)

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Sadly, Stu started having leg problems, so although he was ahead of me for a long time, he had to stop and walk, which made me worried about him.

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When we’d finished, the sea was conveniently close to act as an ice bath 🙂



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We then headed over to Linda’s, the beach-side bar, for some refreshments. The party crew were desperate for some margaritas, but I just wanted a mango juice – mmmm mango!


Mmmmm mango 🙂



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What a great start to the week!


Embrace Sports 04/10/14 Arrival at ‘party camp’.

4 Oct

Saturday 4th October

We got up early to catch our flight and had the usual curious glances and questions from other travellers who were intrigued by our ‘large suitcases’. After we had checked in, we had a bit of time to wait before our flight, so we went in search of breakfast, and some water for the flight.

When we got to Faro, we met Alan waiting for us at the coffee bar. Marcus, a runner from Stubbington Green (a club near to where we train), was also there waiting. Soon Ian and Jan arrived, so we headed over to the minibus where Alan had to do a bit of rearranging to get our cases in. Ian and jan sat in the front with Alan, so we had a bit of time to get to know Marcus and to compare notes on local races that we are all familiar with.

A view of the Giramar 'clubhouse' and pool.

A view of the Giramar ‘clubhouse’ and pool.

When we got to Giramar Apartments, several people had already arrived, including the Bristol crew (Sally, Georgie and Darren), as well as Keith, Ruth, Holly and Amie.


The schedule for the day.

After we had had some time to have lunch and unpack, we went out for a short run. Previously, this has always been ‘the lighthouse run’, but this time we were told that it would be a ‘discovery run’ that would take us down into Lagos.

By the time we got back, some of the others had arrived. We knew that the last group would arrive quite late, so we were told that we would eat dinner without them.

After showering and changing we went back over to the main ‘club house’ where dinner had been prepared: penne bolognaise for most people and ragu for the vegetarians with a lovely side salad. Neil gave the briefing, explaining what would happen the next day, whilst Alan, and Jen handed around some delicious garlic bread.

We also had a chance to look at the schedule for the week. Some of the sessions we had done on a previous camp, but others were new to us, however, the basic format was the same: a tough session in the morning, followed by a shorter (5k/30mins) recovery session in the afternoon.


The week’s schedule

Just as we were finishing dinner, Andy arrived with the last of the group: Sam, Lou, Rach and Rache (our flatmate). Apparently, Gaby’s flight was going to Lisbon and so she wouldn’t arrive until much later. Some of the others were enjoying the wine and beer, but I knew it would be an early start and a tough session the next day, so I decided not to stay up too late.

A new initiative for this camp was the introduction of a photoboard to help with learning everyone’s names. I certainly found it helpful as I always struggle to remember what people are called!